A second choice Shanghai East Asia team made the most of their chance to shine and advanced to the second round of the Chinese FA Cup in style after putting six goals past their opponents. Lacklustre and bland throughout, the visiting Fujian Smart Hero looked every bit like a team that had lost their last three games and were easy pickings for their considerably more determined hosts.
Still three points clear at the top of Chinese League One, East Asia opted to rest the majority of their first team for the game and their trust in the reserves was justified within six minutes of kick off when Chen Zijie curled home a twenty yard free kick on the left corner of the penalty box. Things got even better four minutes later when a needless, albeit soft foul on Li Yunqui gave Mao Jiakang the chance to double their advantage from the penalty spot. The midfielder duly obliged and cooly sent Zhao Yang the wrong way to make the score 2-0.
Curiously, Fujian subbed Zhao at halftime although the new man behind the sticks, Wu Chao, fared just as badly as his predecessor and was soon picking the ball out of his net when the onrushing left back Fu Huan smashed a half-hearted Fujian clearance right into the bottom corner from a full thirty yards.
The relentless, merciless way that the home side were going at their guests suggested that the East Asia team had not forgotten the underhand gamesmanship that Fujian displayed from their last visit to Shanghai.
The noise and celebrations from the home fans certainly implied they hadn’t either, although they didn’t have to wait long to celebrate another goal when Samir Arzu broke down the left and his tricky cross found Chen, whose shot was well saved by Wu only for Zhan Yilan to head home the rebound.
Arzu, who had been a constant thorn in the side of Smart Hero throughout the game then managed to get his own name on the score sheet with fifteen minutes left in the game. Taking charge of a free kick located just beyond the Fujian area, the Honduran dismissed the other East Asia players gathered around the ball before curling it past the hapless Wu from twenty yards out.
It was déjà vu a few minutes later when Arzu stood over an almost identical free kick. The initial effort deflected off the wall only for the Fujian defense to underline their collective incompetence by allowing an unmarked Wang Jiajie to calmly wait for the ball to drop to him on the edge of the six yard box before powerfully volleying the rebound past Wu.
The visitors couldn’t wait for the full-time whistle to arrive and when it did, Fujian’s players simply slumped to the ground in embarrassment. With six well taken goals, the East Asia reserves had more than earned their ovation from the home fans and several players, most notably Chen and Zhan will now be hoping for a more regular spot in the first team following their ruthless demolition job.
In other notable CFA cup scores, Shenzhen Ruby won 2-0 against Harbin Yiteng and Chengdu Blades beat Wuhan Hongxing 1-0, although second place Tianjin Songjiang lost 1-0 at home to lower league outfit, Dongguan Nancheng.